Monday, 28 December 2015

The Power of having a specific Weight Loss goal.

So it's the last week of the year, most of us are not quite there in terms of healthy lifestyle motivation.
My nutrition is better than the last few days, but it hasn't quite returned to normal!
If you were just starting an exercise programme or updating your programme at the beginning of the new year, how would you describe your goals to a trainer?
The likelihood of you achieving your goals hugely increases when you know exactly what you would like your outcome to be.
If you say to your self " I want to lose a bit of weight" or I want to get fitter" these goals are very broad.
Try and be as exact as you can.
If your goal is to lose, to lose how much exactly? Is it to be lighter on the weighing scales, has a Doctor advised you to lower your BMI? Is it to change visually? How? What will the new you look like? Is it to fit into different clothes, or change clothes size? Is it to be healthier? To decrease the load on the body to move without joint pain, to increase life expectancy to see your children/ grand children grow up?
When you define and give clarity to your goal, I bet you found your motivation increasing a little?

Monday, 21 December 2015

Avoid the weight gain at Christmas!

Probably the time I'm the least popular with my advise is right about now!

And it's incredibly hard to write any advise, without me thinking of you out there exclaiming "oh just let us enjoy Xmas!" "Here he is, the fun police again". 

Thought I would put together a few tips for having your cake and eating it, so to speak, as I would explain to my mother when she used that phrase on me " It's cake what else are you supposed to do with it?"

2kg gain- that's the average weight gain during the festive season apparently.

Easily done, so to avoid for those still reading here we go with my top tips!

1). Portion Size: too much of any food and drink source that the body can't process in one go, gets stored. So try and graze, good for those busily preparing Christmas dinner, nibble on the go, so even if it's not healthy if you only have a small amount at once, less chance of storing.

2). Don't go to parties or wait to eat until you are very hungry, try and have something every so often.

3) watch the alcohol, yes an obvious one because it's empty calories, but consume lots of alcohol and you will probably consume more food also.

4). Try and have higher Protein foods first, they need more processing, so fill you quicker, so it's hard to eat lots and lots of food after.

Monday, 14 December 2015

How to lose fat from stomach, bottom, thighs, hips, back of arms...

I don't spend that much time on Facebook I promise (do we all say that?:)) but occasionally I see something I like.  

Obviously I'm friends with a lot of other fitness people on there.

Whilst I'm not that interested in a video of someone Dead lifting, I did quite like the picture poster of an in-shape stomach with the words "want this then do 3 sets of eat less bad food!"

Working in a gym it's a question you get all the time from everyone; "can I have an exercise for my stomach, my backside, hips, legs, back of my arms..."

Resistance training does improve metabolism, but you can't turn fat into muscle, two very different things. 

To get any kind of shaping or weight loss result, it all starts in the kitchen!

There is always a look on someone's face when you have to explain it (could be the look you have right now!) but believe me I take people through exercise routines if it was all down to the exercises I prescribe I would be very happy!

But it isn't, it's mostly down to nutrition habits, I wish it wasn't the case, if any information comes out to say different with scientific rationale, then you will be the first to know!

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Monday, 7 December 2015

Weight Loss, the power of convenience!

When it comes to my lifestyle habits and those that I work with, it seems the ones that are the easiest to implement and to stick to are always the ones that are the most convenient.

We all lead such busy lives, looking after children's needs, working longer hours.

The reason fast food and coffee shops are so successful is that it's fast.

But what we need to do is combine healthy with fast if weight loss is our goal.

My other half loves watching cookery programmes and a lot of the time the chef says the meal is quick and easy to prepare, in reality it's not!

If you are having to resort to buying food out and on the go, there aren't many healthy options to choose.

If this is the case for you, When you next do your food shopping, try finding foods that are healthy and fast.
For instance stir fries are quick, it can all go in the pan, just go easy on the sauce. 
Nuts and dried fruit to snack on, or Hummus with vegetable dip.
Even children like this one!

I don't like vegetables myself, I try and eat them because I know how good they are, getting me to eat them as a child was always a challenge for my parents, but if there was Hummus then it would have been easier, it contains healthy fat and very low carb too.

When it came to supplements before, I would get on my high horse "we should be eating real food" I would say, but now if you have time and access to whole food then that's the best option, however if a protein bar or balanced shake is better than what you would normally have and you rely on it for the convenience, then it's the best option!

Monday, 30 November 2015

Don't put your weight loss goals on hold, there is still time!

I hear lots of people talking in the gym saying that they have "frozen" their goals until the new year.

Wow! That's over a month away! There is still time if you made a consorted effort now in the next few weeks, let's face it we are all going to over indulge over the festive period to some degree, if you kept all the disciplines and habits going now, set yourself a realistic sensible goal for the festive period, imagine when it gets to the new year and you are already part of the way there!

It's also being realistic about your goals, knowing what you need to do, achieving the "lifestyle - life balance" as I call it.

I remember being asked constantly years back in the gym by young blokes trying to get six pack abs, they were willing to do which ever ab exercise I was going to tell them to do, but when I informed them so much of that kind of result is down to nutrition and eating as clean as possible, because we all have abdominal muscles, seeing them is something else! On discovering this most of them lost interest! 

For the rest of us it's feeling comfortable in clothes, boosting self esteem, feeling more comfortable, having more energy-especially if your family includes young children or just to get through a regular busy day or improving your health and numerous other reasons, but there is plenty of time to go, stick with it!

Monday, 23 November 2015

With Weight Loss it always comes down to this...

A client of mine asked me very recently "I'm thinking of increasing the number of sessions I do with you per week".

This was all well and good, but I knew as soon as she said it, how was she going to fit it in?

She is a busy Mum with two children who has a business her self and is recovering from a serious back operation.

When I asked more questions as to why she wanted to increase, is was to get faster results, so then I asked that annoying question that trainers ask- "how is your Nutrition going?"

She gave me that look.

She instantly knew, see she didn't mind exercise that much.

After 18 years of training people, when weight loss is the goal, 70-80% of it comes down to Nutrition, get this right (as much as you can) it will all come together, you will see the better shape you are in from your exercise routine.
There won't be the question of "what shall I wear" when you go out at night, trying to decide which outfit hides the most, because when you keep getting your nutrition right, there won't be any to hide!

Heck as a 40 year old trainer, I have to be in pretty ok shape, so people will actually believe what I say!
Im ok with were I am, but if I wanted to go further to get leaner myself and I'm doing 6 day weeks training people mornings until evening and there is an 8 and 9 year old at home, I'm doing the most amount of exercising I want to do, so do you know what would I do? That would have the most effect?

Say it in your best annoying mimicking voice....

Focus even more on Nutrition!

If you have any questions, let me know in comments.

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Monday, 16 November 2015

Easy Weight Loss and Healthy Lifestyle.

Sometimes when something sounds too simple, in order to allow ourselves to procrastinate and a reason not to take action, we try and make it more complicated than it actually is. This can give us a reason not to move forward.
To keep it simple, to lose weight a lot of it comes down to your nutrition habits.
As much of the time as is possible you must strive to eat as natural as you can.
To know which foods you can eat a lot of regularly and the foods you have to have as occasionally as possible.
To get the balance of nutrients right and to avoid having too bigger portion of anything (except maybe vegetables) or to avoid feeling full. 
To move a bit more in general and just be more active as this is what your body was designed to do.
To keep repeating the above into some kind of lifestyle that takes you to were you want to go and to maintain it as best you can, simple.

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Monday, 9 November 2015

Fast Weight Loss...

As a Personal Trainer the question I was asked the most previously was "what is the fastest way to lose weight".

At the fitness facility I work at we have a course called; "The Lose and Shape up course."

It's a 12 week course, when someone inquires about the course, the starting question would be; "how much weight should I expect to lose in 12 weeks?".

If I'm forced to answer, my answer would be "if you follow all the advice and steps about 12-24lbs".

People usually look a bit disheartened at this as they know so many xyz diets that promise a lot faster results.

Right from the beginning I have always run my buisiness and despatched advice with integrity.

So I say this, as a trainer with over 18 years experience; rapid weight loss is not good for health and it only brings about short term results, it lowers our metabolism, as rapid weight loss involves losing a bit of fat and muscle and water.

Looking "gaunt" is usually the result of rapid weight loss.

There are too many companies and individuals out there promising rapid weight loss, when we lose weight quickly we tend to gain it back quickly, great for return business.

Everyone is free to make their own choices, but if it's not under medical supervision, just be careful when you are met with a weight loss promise that sounds to good to be true.

My programmes and lifestyle advice are designed to an individual's goal, as a trainer you want them to not only achieve their goal, but for them to get to a point where they don't have to think about it, it's all good habits and lifestyle, they are in control of their weight and can manage it themselves.

That's the time they don't need me.
If they stay it's because they like me and they enjoy my exercise routines.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Box Life

The box life has taken over...

When I want to motivate my self, I sometimes like to listen to Tony Robbins, a very effective speaker.
In one of his talks he spoke of "the box life".

As someone who promotes the benefits of a Paleo Influenced lifestyle this rang very true.

See how many of these you relate to;

We wake up, to wash we stand in a box, if we have chance before we leave we watch the box, we travel to work or anywhere in some kind of box, when we get to work, or to check emails we use a box, the phone rings - another box!
After spending our day with these boxes, we travel home in our box, we might fill an opened top box with water and finish the day sat in front of the box!
To use all these boxes every day we are usually seated, meaning our box - the sheath of tissue made up of facia, muscle, tendons and ligaments that is the front, back and sides of our body weakens and no longer does a good job of holding us in the right postural position.

A lot of the time this governs how I choose my exercises, especially for people I have just started working with.
You will notice there are a lot of body weight orientated strength exercises, squats, lunges and rows etc. this forms the basis of any programme, would you strengthen the branches of a tree before the trunk, would you construct the walls of a building before the foundation? What would happen otherwise? Weak walls and branches! In the bodies case our frame work of tissue, that gives support to our spine and joints that support and enable us with best mechanics to move our limbs.
Resistance machines have their place, but the foundation has to be strong first, because what do you do with most machines? Sit down!
For you calorie burners, when you exercise do you burn more seated or standing?

Monday, 26 October 2015

Weight Loss Checklist.

Health and Weight Loss Nutrition is all about balancing and therefore stabilising blood sugar. 

Obviously there are foods (and drinks) that have to be eaten and consumed in moderation for any kind of weight loss result.  

Also for most of us (non athletes) this means decreasing high energy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, rice, potato and sugary breakfast cereals and eating more vegetables (low energy carbs) and sources of lean protein or vegetarian protein such as Lentils or Quinoa.

I can't believe anyone I help, doesn't have at least something for breakfast (it's a huge metabolism kick starter!)
If you aren't, start as soon as you can!
If you are, try and have less high energy carbs and more protein.

Drink more water, sip throughout the day. It Indirectly effects metabolism, every function in the body speeds up, so the body burns more calories. Your skin will look better too.

Snacking! Snacking is good! It's what you snack on that counts. Again go natural low high energy carb, higher protein. This decreases the chance of blood sugar dips that slow metabolism over time. Also increases metabolism.

Feel free to ask a question in the comments section.

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Monday, 19 October 2015

Weight Loss: Avoid Comparison...

It's great to be inspired by someone in amazing shape.

Especially as we come to understand there is a certain level of self discipline all of the lifestyle habits and rituals involved.
It's hugely positive to implement the same healthy habits yourself.

However no two bodies are the same,  our genetics are totally different, our bodie's frame and structure can be different, different muscle groups seem to change shape easier than others, we store body fat in different areas.

It is true that some peoples genetics will give them a head start if they naturally process energy better than others.
So keep being inspired by people in shape, but don't always aim to emulate, instead be the best version of you, you can be.

Friday, 16 October 2015

What is the best Weight Loss Plan?

There are so many Weight Loss plans, Nutrition plans and the word I dislike the most - Diets!

I find myself having to explain why someone should follow my plan over something else, I'm asked "why is yours different to all the other plans out there?"

"Other plans enable me to lose weight much faster".

It's very simple, 

Simple sceintific rationale.

Also I'm not about quick fixes, it's not about lose weight quickly, then come back and see me when you gain the weight back and we will repeat the process.

It's permanent weight loss by adopting a healthy sustainable lifestyle.

Paleo influenced plans, have their roots in the origins of human genetics, our genetics have not changed that much in X million years.

But to only eat foods that our ancestors ate, for most, me included is unrealistic.

Drastically lowering any one type of nutrient is not creating a healthy balance, even Carbohydrate or Fat, or over consuming another.

You see, Carbohydrate is essential in our nutrition plan, it's the preferred source of fuel for our bodies.

However the average western world consumption is too high and there are weight loss issues associated with this.
When we eat a meal high in Carbohydrates it's essentially broken down into sugar, which leads to an increase in blood sugar levels.
The body's response to this is to produce insulin which transports sugar into the cells for storage, unfortunately there is only limited storage for this sugar and an excess sugar gets converted to fat and stored!

If Carbohydrate is moderated and Protein and healthy Fat slightly increased then typically blood sugar levels will stabilise. When blood sugar levels are more stable, a less well known hormone called Glucagon (which is usually suppressed due to increased Carbohydrate intake) is produced in higher volumes.
Glucagon mobilises fat, drawing it out of the cells so it can be metabolised as fuel.
This aids in weight loss.

Feel free to leave comments and ask questions.
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Monday, 12 October 2015

Weight Loss: Less Isn't Better...

When we are adjusting our nutrition habits to lose weight, we always tend to think eating less and low amounts of foods is the best way forward.
To some degree it is, but the idea shouldn't be to cut calories drastically, unless you are having huge portions of junk food at every meal!
Drastically lowering calories, tells the body to prepare for food scarcity, it does this by conserving energy, we lose weight quickly, but from water, muscle and fat, decreasing our metabolism and increasing our fat storing potential when the lowering of calories stops.
For a long term healthy weight loss plan, if you eat moderate balanced portions, with healthy natural food, you will find not only will you be processing and not storing the nutrients, but in actual fact you will be consuming less calories overall by eating more natural food in smaller portions. Eating often especially gives the body the impression food is in abundance, so if it feels it needs to draw on extra energy reserves it can use it's own fat stores, meaning steady long term healthy weight loss which is from fat loss, raised metabolism and numerous other benefits!

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Thursday, 8 October 2015

Weight Loss and being human...

When we are putting in effort and being disciplined to achieve a weight loss goal, it is easy to get despondent and allow ourselves to contemplate quitting if we lapse.
Really if we are having the odd lapse, we can merely just confirm that we are human!
Admitting defeat means we are turning our back on our goal that could bring about life changing benefits.

The only time we admit defeat is when we give up.
When we should just evaluate what led to the lapse and develop a better plan to prevent a re occurrrance so that we could act differently if faced with the same outcome?
For instance, If we over eat at a meal was it because our last meal was so long ago that we were hungrier than usual and consumed more in one go. Could we just find a convenient way to have healthy snacks to bridge the gap between meals.

Could we tell family or those we work with what we are trying to achieve and what it would mean to us, so that they knew not to even offer us certain types of food, to help and support us.

Except that you are human, lapses may occur, it's just part of the learning process, we just need to decide if there is a way we could do something different next time, as soon as possible just keep following the plan and lifestyle habits that have already bought about progress, if it's working keep doing it! If not reevaluate your plan.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Focus on the big things before the details of Weight Loss...

When it comes to weight loss, we can quite easily become "bogged down in the details".
Scrutinising and analysing everything we do.
In reality some of these minor details, only have a very small effect on healthy weight loss.

Instead focus on the big things that will make a big difference to your healthy weight loss, decide on is what you are focusing going to have a big effect on your progress.

Decrease as best you can the obvious foods and drinks that consumed often enough will hinder progress.
Decide what is the least amount you could realistically have per week.

If your nutrition plan contains a lot of high energy carbohydrates such as potato, white pasta, white rice, bread,  high sugar cereals, try and get your energy needs from Vegetables and some fruit, or have the smallest portions per meal possible of high energy carbs.

If your nutrition plan currently contains a lot of processed food, try and eat more natural or foods that have a very small ingredient list.

If you are having big sporadic meals, try and have moderate main meals with healthy balanced snacks in between.

Drink more water.

Try and include more movement in your life or even better begin an exercise routine that includes Strength training of some sort and Interval (periods of work and recovery) Cardiovascular exercise. 

Don't try and implement all of these immediately, but know I believe the above short list to be changes that yeild the biggest results long term, that not just help you lose weight and all the positive potentially life changing benefits that come with it.

Feel free to leave a comment.
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Friday, 2 October 2015

Increasing Your Metabolism...

The key to health and weight loss is making sure you process the nutrients you consume.

If they are processed by the body and used, in particular energy and fuel, they are not stored as fat.

Carbohydrate is our bodies main source of fuel.
All Carbohydrates are turned into Glycogen or Blood Sugar for fuel or energy.

The average person can process 30 grams of Carbs per meal (which the body roughly turns into six spoonfuls of sugar equivalent).

Noticed I said "Average" you probably know if you can process more or less than that based on past experience.

A lot of people blame age for a slow down in metabolism, research has been done in the States to claim that strength training a couple of times a week can reduce the slow down by 50%!

A study measured that if we are engaging in Strength training 2-3 times per week we could easily be burning an extra 100 k/calories per day, even on the days we don't exercise!

As ever Nutrition plays a big part, having breakfast wakes up the bodies metabolism, consuming enough Protein and healthy Fat stabilises blood sugar, eating moderate sized meals often ensures our body is in an "abundance state" rather than low calorie and sporadic meals which teaches the body to prepare for scarcity, decreasing your metabolism flame or putting it out.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Don't wait for the perfect time to lose weight.

So you have a plan, you know what changes you need to make and what you need to do to get to where you want to go.
The next step is to actually take action!
Don't wait for that good time, when everything seems settled, that time that allows you to focus on the task in hand with minimal distractions. Why? Because invariably that time never comes!
Aim to take whatever action you can as soon as possible.
It doesn't need to be the prefect plan,  any short term changes you can make right now that will gather some momentum.
Small changes will lead to the start of some kind of result that will entice you to make more changes that will gather more momentum leading to big progress.
Ask yourself what habits could you realistically install in the next week and go from there.
Any action you take will move you forwards, having the right information without implementation will keep you right where you are. 

Friday, 25 September 2015

Weight Loss Mindset...

Good Nutrition, Regular Exercise is important but having the right mindset could make the difference.
Athletes can be separated by tenths of a second, but who has the right mindset will very well make the difference.

When it comes to health and fitness goals, what is your mindset?

Are you asking your self if you really can achieve it or are you saying anything is possible with time and effort.
If you hit a set back do you say "I knew I couldn't do it" or do you remind yourself that successful people had many failures and set backs along the way. Maybe we could see it that it's a message that we need to increase our efforts or adopt a different strategy. If someone holds you accountable do you say "It's not my fault, it was..." And end up resenting them a bit?  Or do you consider they have your best interests at heart, but ultimately it is down to you.

Think about something you are successful in, what mindset did you have.
Did you take on the challenge, learn from set backs and take ownership?

We can have a totally different mind set when it comes to different things.
I maybe able to advise when it comes to lifestyle, but have a fixed mindset when it comes to other stuff!

But awareness is the key, if we become aware we have a fixed mindset about something, maybe we can learn to look at it differently and change our mindset.

I always liked the saying "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change".

Monday, 21 September 2015

Weight Loss Hype...

Long time ago, when I started in corporate fitness it was my job on accasion, depending on shift patterns to open the gym.
That meant being up at "sparrow's fart."
Before the rest of the world had even had chance to stratch it's bottom, you get the picture, early!
During breakfast I would watch TV, all these sales channels had popped up with fit people telling you how they got a six pack from using an invention that works your abs.
Some people selling the products looked like Personal Trainers, if they were, for me this was the Fitness Professional's equivalent of selling your soul to the devil!

Eventually the ad agencies I presume made them put in the small print, that to get results you would need have a sound nutrition plan in place.

If the manufactures included some Nutrition advice and programmes with the product, then maybe you could forgive them.

It does not matter how much you target an area where there is a storage of body fat with particular exercises, it won't change!
Fat does not turn into muscle, they are different layers and types of tissue.
The only way to lose body fat is to use it for energy, by moderating the energy you put in your body (the most effective) and or moving more (second most effective).

Being able to see definition in a muscle means, the body fat is low enough, that muscle is now closer to the skin and can be visible, it has been revealed.

I am still learning about all the groups and nutrition plans out there, but it's not a healthy or effective solution if it's not long term, or it's so drastic if you stop, it's lowered your metabolism so much, that now you store body fat even more effectively!
It shouldn't be something you have to follow strictly forever, other wise you will quickly go back.
I would say, I am happy getting steady results, my body fat percentage is classed as "quite lean" so now I eat very healthy 80% of the time, 20% not so good.
Because I've done it the healthy, steady way, it's just now a sustainable healthy lifestyle.

Friday, 18 September 2015

The next weight loss steps and stages.

I was despatching some information to a small group as usual I didn't hold back on the information :).

One of the group really seemed to relate to the information and seemed keen to put it into practice, another responded quite negatively.

Seemed strange to me as both had the same objective, then as the conversation progressed I realised they were at different stages.

The first person knew and was applying most the information, so hung on to the additional tips, the other person was doing the first bit and then just got overwhelmed by the information.

So in this post, here are some steps, go to the stage you are at and progress from there.

For Weight Loss results, first decrease all the obvious stuff you know if you consume regularly will slow progress, yes that includes alcohol too :)
If cutting it out is unrealistic, then set yourself a minimum amount.
This has to be done if weight loss is the goal because you can't have both!

Next it's high energy Carbohydrate to cut out or eat in only small portions, Pastas, rice, potato, bread, cereals that contain lots of sugar.
So you don't get hungry slightly increase your Protein and Healthy Fat. In the evening for example bigger portion of Chille, smaller portion of Rice and so on...

Next, try and moderate portion size, we can only process so much. Ideally eat 3 moderate main meals and 2 snacks. Prepare food if you can, if time is the issue and you need a convenient option then meal replacements and snack replacements work, but shouldn't replace healthy food if you can do that option.

Next getting the balance right 40% Carbs (from veggies and some fruit) 30% Protein and 30% healthy fat. Make up each meal or snack.
So if you imagine a plate like a pie chart.

Next try and think of as many healthy foods and snacks as possible to give you a variation.

The list could go on, such as drink more water, rather than other fluids.

So work out which step you are on and progress!

Monday, 14 September 2015

What I learned from Weight Loss Forums...

I am very new to weight loss forums, but I wanted to have a look and I love answering questions. (If I have the answer). After 18 years in the industry I have a few answers by now :)

Looking through the forums people are trying all the different "diets" and plans out there, sometimes going from one to the next!

I don't know why this is.

Firstly, I have never advised anyone to go on any plan.
As mentioned in a previous post, the ultimate plan is Paleo, for sceintific reasons, however, I am a Personal Trainer  who loves eating healthy, but Paleo is too strict for me!
Paleo is based on eating natural foods, so a Paleo "influenced" plan is more realistic.

For any Nutritional plan to work, you have to be able to say "With a little bit of discipline, I could realistically make that a lifestyle".
The plan has to have eating natural food at its core.
It has to be balanced, meaning it's not massively heavy on one macro nutrient (carbohydrate, protein or fat).
It has to fit your lifestyle, we are all so busy nowadays that it can't just be healthy, but sometimes convenient too.

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Friday, 11 September 2015

Feel comfy in clothes or Ultra Lean?

I remember in a previous gym I worked at, a lady asking a trainer for some "losing weight advice" she was enthusiastically told for the next 15 minutes how she could be in the best shape of her life and have incredibly low body fat.

After which I watched her walk off and join her friend on an exercise bike, after settling in on her bike, she exclaimed to her friend who had seen what was happening that it all sounded too much and she was going back to which ever extreme diet she had followed that either didn't work or brought about short term results before she gained it back.

Don't get me wrong, it was good information, it just didn't quite match the ladies goal, she just wanted to drop a few pounds and feel more comfortable in her clothes.

The action plan has to be relative to the goal. 

For some specific weight loss advice- read on!

Healthy Weight Maintenance: Firstly how very lucky! If it's through discipline and eating healthy, way to go! 
If you just have amazing genetics, better just keep it to yourself before you become unpopular!
Seriously though, for most of us, it does require being healthy most of the time, so this is something to keep doing, otherwise you may need to read the next tip very soon or the one after...

Nearly there, few pounds to lose:
Again, good going! If clothes are still steadily getting baggier, keep doing what you are doing! If you have hit a plateaux, go back to your nutrition, can you further decrease any high energy foods, spread portions across the day, change up your exercise programme a little.

Got at least a stone (14lbs)  to lose:
Again if you are already losing steadily, keep doing what you are doing. If it's slowed, back to nutrition habits, don't try and change everything, but start to decrease high energy foods, increase healthy protein and healthy fat, watch portion size and aim to do a couple of strength training circuits a week.

More than a stone (14+ lbs)
Losing that much over time should have a big positive effect on your life, firstly figure out how it would change and benefit yours.
Nutrition habits are always the place to begin, decreasing food you know isn't good for you, implement things steadily, try and find food that is both healthy and tastes good, that way you have a better chance of making it a lifestyle.

Actually I want to be in the best shape of my life, with super low bodyfat!:
It's all about the discipline / life balance, but careful random people might ask you sternly "do you even eat anything other than Chicken and Brocholi?"

Monday, 7 September 2015

Is your Weight Loss slow, despite low Calorie / low fat?

For health and weight loss, the body can only process so much fuel or energy per meal. All Carbohydrate sources turn to energy or glucose to be converted to glycogen, the bodies fuel source.
Body Fat is a secondary stored energy source (the bodies preferred and primary source is Carbohydrate) 
So if the goal is to be leaner or to avoid illnesses such as diabetes, then Carbohydrate has to be moderated.
But different Carbohydrates have different amounts of fuel as illustrated above.
Vegetables contain very little fuel whilst you can see that in bread (and also Pasta, Rice, Potatoes and most cereals) that even a small amount contains a lot of fuel.
In the industry we tend to use the 30 grams of Carbohydrate maximum per meal advice as most servings are 30g and the average person (whom I'm yet to meet :))
can only process a maximum of 30 grams of Carbohydrate per meal.
If weight loss is the goal, this is one of the tips that will have the most effect, when it comes down to foods containing energy or fuel, what is not processed and used by the body goes into storage. How do we store our surplus energy? Body Fat!
So by moderating our energy intake each meal, we will not be storing.
Bottom line; have a big portion of Vegetables per meal but if you are trying to lose weight then rely on Vegetables mostly for your fuel or have very small portions of the high energy Carbohydrates.

Monday, 31 August 2015

A Boost to your Weight Loss Mindset.

In relation to trends and patterns, the start of new year is when most people focus on their Health and Fitness goals, to a lesser extent another is the beginning of September.
With this increase in productivity in mind, focus on your most important goal, the one that would make you happiest on achieving, the one that would make the most difference to your life.
Quickly ask yourself why would this make you happier?
Why would this enhance your life?

As humans we tend to be a bit reactive, we tend to have to be unhappy or in some discomfort before we take action.

With that in mind I want you to fast forward in time to when you feel you should have made progress or achieved the goal.

Yet when you get there, you are still the same.
In the future, no progress has been made, in fact you have gone backwards slightly.
So what would be the repercussions?
How would you feel?

What if this outcome could be avoided?
Well it can!
By fast forwarding to the future, it should give you a greater sense of urgency, to take action.
Doesn't need to be perfect action, just a decision to move forward, even if it's slow progress, you can take more action to speed it up, by not making a decision you are drifting, relying on life's current to take you where you want to go and that can go either way...

It's up to you!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Exercise can't compensate for a bad Nutrition Plan.

Relative to your weight loss goals, the thing that will yield you the most results, the most important aspect bar none is your Nutrition habits.
Only a very extreme amount of regular exercise (which would also bring about the negative symptoms of over training) could hope to compensate!
Let's say after an hours worth of exercise you expend 700 k/calories, in a pound of body fat (.454 kg's) there are 3500 k/calories, barely touching the surface!

Friday, 21 August 2015

What is your Metabolism Message?

Your metabolism message is what you have been telling your body all these years...

Evolution is not a fast process.
For instance, what do we need fight or flight for in this day and age?

The body is designed for short term survival primarily.

The body has no idea whether food is in good supply or not, it depends on our eating habits.

So looking back over the years is your body equipped for abundance or scarcity which will decide a fast or slow metabolism?

Frequent low calorie or big sporadic meals, or following different types of "faddy" nutrition plans, constant skipping of meals teaches the body food is in bad supply and to lower metabolism in preparation for shortage.

Eating regularly in moderate amounts, with short gaps in between meals fires up the metabolism and teaches it the notion of abundance (it can process the food now, because your eating habits dictate more is coming soon).

So your body has been heading which ever of the above messages is stronger over time.

That's why after a restrictive calorie nutrition plan, it's easy to increase body fat quickly once you return to normal eating.

If you are doing all the right things, but making slow progress, could be the body needs some time to get into the notion of abundance.

Sounds like a contradiction to eat more often to be leaner, but think of someone you know who is constantly eating healthy stuff in modest portions and yet do they have a fast metabolism?

Please use the comment section for questions that could be featured in future posts.
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Monday, 17 August 2015

Simple tip to help you lose weight...

We can't get away from it, but 70-80% of your weight loss goal is down to your eating habits.

One simple tip to help with this is to increase the awareness of the food you put into your body!

On weight loss TV programmes, the very effective way it is done is to shock people  about their current habits.
You see the food they usually eat for a day or week sprawled across a table, to that persons disgust!

But this is a very effective way of increasing awareness.

One thing you could try is to keep a food diary, as a Personal Trainer this is what I have my clients do, so I can see exactly (if they are honest) what foods they are consuming and how it is helping (or not) their progress.
Writing a food diary is very effective, try and list amounts, doesn't need to be accurate, writing "big portion" will do!
What time your meals were, infact as much information as you are going to find useful.
Once it's written down, review it, what would the contents of the diary look like sprawled across a table?!
Are there different habits and patterns you can pick up upon?
Can you notice some habits that you can change for the better.

The best things about any Nutrition plan out there, wether they are good or bad is that we become more aware of what we are eating, we should try not to be too obsessed with every crumb we eat, but if we identify a habit we could change, in exchange for a healthier one, this could make a huge difference to our results!

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Any questions you have, please use the comment section.

Friday, 14 August 2015

I read this was the best for Weight Loss...

Here is a statement that I get a lot in the gym; "I was reading article X and it said this was the best equipment for health and weight loss."

Actually any time I attend a course, if it is run by the employees of an exercise equipment company, they will tell us (course attendees) that their equipment is the best.

The answer is, that providing it has stood the test of time, it all works!

If the goal however is weight loss and you haven't yet adopted the right nutrition habits, then after 18 years of experience I can tell you no fitness equipment will work!

You cant do exercise to compensate for an unhealthy nutrition plan!

No amount of trying new equipment and exercise will overcome that,
eventually you will have to come back to your eating plan.

If you have a good lifestyle, then the equipment does work, providing the exercise is right for you.

Depending on what you are training for, fancy equipment is not essential, there are body weight exercises that are effective, in the boot (trunk, depending where you are reading this :)) of my car is a stability ball, suspension straps (similar to TRX) kettle bells, resistance band, medicine ball and speed ladder all very effective!

After 18 years it still comes down to the same thing regarding healthy weight loss results: 1) Nutrition, 2) Resistance Exercise, 3) Interval Cardio.

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Got a question? Use the comment section!

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Ultimate Destination!

We tend to see the ultimate destination as the point where we reach our goal, our target weight, the shape we have always wanted to be, better health, more energy...
However unless we maintain good habits even when we reach our goals we can start to undo all our good work.
So what is the ultimate destination?
For me it's when we have formed all the habits, the balanced healthy eating, moderate portions and regular exercise, when all of this becomes second nature, something we do completely unconsciously.
This is an incredibly powerful place to get to, you now have ultimate control over how you look and feel.
After a special occasion or holiday where your lifestyle habits are not as good as usual, you find it easier to get straight back on track, when there is a special occasion or holiday to somewhere warm when you want to look your best, you are either close to where you would like to be or even better you have been maintaining that condition for a while now. Even if you do find yourself gaining a few pounds, you know exactly the mindset and the slight habit changes you need to install. It's now just a lifestyle- something you just do.
If you have a Healthy Weight Loss question, please use the comments section and I will answer them in a future post.
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Monday, 3 August 2015

Stop to congratulate yourself...

In the strive to achieve objectives, to continually move forwards and progress sometimes we forget something - how far we have come!
When we focus on our big goals, we forget all the small disciplined changes we are making along the way.

 It is not about only recognising the end goal, it is everything we are doing differently to create a new and positive change.
So regards to your exercise and lifestyle, remember to stop and congratulate yourself for any positive lifestyle changes.
Could be you are exercising more regularly now than before, you now drink more water, you are more conscious of your posture, any positive changes with your Nutrition habits, the list is endless I am sure you can think of your own!
Any change big and small, especially those that become habitual will contribute to your health and fitness goals, so any time you make the smallest change in your lifestyle habits, stop to congratulate yourself!

Friday, 31 July 2015

Keeping it Simple...

There are times when we receive a lot of information at once that it can become overwhelming. 

When that happens the chances of taking action decreases.

Sometimes something sounds too simple, in order to allow ourselves to procrastinate and a reason not to take action we try and make it more complicated than it actually is.

To lose weight, a lot of it comes down to your nutrition habits, as much of the time as is possible you must strive to eat as healthy as you can. To know which foods you can eat a lot of regularly and the foods you have to have as occasionally as possible.
To get the balance right, to never have too bigger portion that leaves you feeling full. 
To move a bit more, be more active this is what your body was designed to do.
To keep repeating the above into some kind of lifestyle that takes you to were you want to go and to maintain it as best you can, simple.

Monday, 27 July 2015

The best Nutrition plan?

First and foremost any Nutrition plan that increases your awareness to what you are eating for health as well as weight loss is advantageous!

The ones I would stay away from unless through medical advice are low calorie food plans that teach the body it's in a world of scarcity, which means long term yo yoing weight and slow metabolism, teaching your body to store fat.

The best one, well as an exercise professional, the healthiest types of exercise are based on the natural design of the human body, which hasn't changed much through evolution.

So the best, it's got to be Paleo!

However, I'm a trainer who enjoys healthy food, but Paleo is quite strict.
My advice would be eat as much Paleo type foods as you can especially Vegetables, followed by Lean Protein.

If your goal is to be very lean, then you have to be strict.

If your goal is to lead a healthy lifestyle like the rest of us, then a Paleo "inspired' plan is the way forward. Try and eat Paleo foods in abundance, then the less healthy foods like diary products should be consumed in smaller amounts and so on.
What the balance of Paleo foods does (slightly higher Protein and Healthy Fat, slightly lower high energy Carbohydrate) is stabilise our blood sugar, the key to healthy weight loss!

Paleo people didn't live long? Well they were nearly wild, they had a few threats to contend with, child mortality was low, just because they had access to only whole food, doesn't mean it was always in abundance, that we in the western world enjoy!

Friday, 24 July 2015

A Visual Guide to...

...Body Fat Percentage.

"These damn Personal Trainers
keep talking about Body Fat %.
It doesn't mean anything to me!"

How about some visualisation!?

You see the scales can show one thing but unless you have lost body fat your shape may not change.

It's body fat weight not total weight that determines your health risk.

So see if the pictures mean more than just a number, can you see where you are and where you would like to be?

What have you got to do to get there?

Not sure, use the comments section to ask a question...

Monday, 20 July 2015

No Failure only Review.

You don't fail, just because of one unhealthy meal, or one missed exercise session, or not being quite where you wanted in the time frame you planned, slow steady progress isn't failure, slipping into bad habits isn't failure, finding it tough going but doing your best to persist isn't failure, lacking motivation sometimes, situations arising that are beyond your control that affect your lifestyle isn't failing...

Failure is when you give up completely.
Failure is when you say "I tried, it didn't work, so now I'm stopping".
Failure is when you give up on your goals.
Failure is when you accept a current situation that you are not happy with.
Failure is to stop taking action completely.

If you are taking action, or even the slightest bit of action, you are not failing.
If your habits and lifestyle are not were you want them to be, don't give up, because giving up is failing.
So have an attitude of no failure, but review your situation instead!
If you are doing something that will impede your goals, ask yourself if you have even the slightest bit of control, is there something you can do differently next time? Is there a different plan you could implement, even some simple changes?

The good news is you always get another chance to do things differently to achieve that goal...

...but don't wait too long, because you won't get the time back.

If you have a weight loss question, put it in the comments section and I will do my best to answer it in a future blog.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Fast verses Slow and Sustainable...

Just before going on holiday is a popular time for low calorie diets.
When we don't eat we see it as contributing to our weight loss goal.
I remember a Personal Training colleague when I worked abroad liking the fact that when nursing a hangover (shock and awe a Personal Trainer with a hangover!) that he didn't eat much that day.

On lower calorie diets we lose a bit of body fat, but muscle and water too, slowing our metabolism in the long run, teaching it to store more fat as soon as it can.

Everyone works to their own goals, I try and promote healthy long term weight loss where I can.

My advice is if you are leaving it late, do it the healthy way; eat natural, try and moderate your high energy carbohydrate and slightly increase your Protein and Healthy Fat .

Depicted in the diagram below even if you lose only a pound of muscle in one week, it takes up a lot of room and your shape will change more significantly!

If you wish to put a question about Healthy Weight Loss feel, just use the comment section, 

Thanks Ed.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Keeping it Simple...

I'm not going to lie, I'm quite into my fitness science.
However when we are faced with information overload, it can be a bit overwhelming, which maybe causes you to decrease taking action, or on the flip side if it something you have been trying to do for a while and it all seems incredibly challenging and you are met with different sources saying different things, or when something seems too simple, we complicate it in a way to justify our lack of progress.

But this stuff isn't complex, I know I'm doing it!

If your goal is weight loss (and 80% of people I talk to have the same goal) then: 70-80% of the result is down to your nutrition. Eat natural and healthy as best you can and moderate or have very little high energy carbs, avoid big portions, eat balanced meals little and often.
Engage in resistance exercise if you can, use big exercises and do interval (periods of work and recovery) rather steady state cardio.

If your goal is health, posture related, mobility, joint function or maintaining an active lifestyle, then include movement every day, even if it's just walking, increase your posture awareness, walk, stand and sit tall.
Try not to be in one position too long, especially seated. Foam Roll if you have access to one, stretch and try and do exercises with a degree of instability to challenge the stability / framework muscles, especially the deep mid section and backside muscles.

The great thing is if those are both your goals they are easy to combine!

Friday, 10 July 2015

Ed the "tubby hubby".

Today I'm spending my last day in my 30s, so I'm going to do a brief history of my own lifestyle challenges I have had previously.
(I know what you are thinking, never mind the self indulgence, any chance of some information? :))
Well the idea being that all though my challenges are no where near as bad as some, hopefully you can relate to the brief following...

I have always been active, think it was age 19, although I did a lot of Mountain Bike riding and some racing, due to eating habits had developed a spare tyre round the mid section, this was a bit unknown for me! I could not wait to get rid of the mid section tyre fast enough!
Changed my eating to less and ultra healthy and three months later was 2stone lighter and much weaker and very drawn in the face and had low energy, which happens when it's not just body fat you lose.
I started researching about doing it the right way and staying healthy, after a few years of doing this I realised I knew enough to help others.

A few years later, whilst working abroad, without changing my habits, I lost weight rapidly, my hair thinned, I had shaky hands and a rapid pulse, doing squats or running fast made me feel dizzy and sick.
When I described the rapid weight loss, people would always say how lucky I was, I didn't feel that lucky and something didn't seem right.
I didn't look very healthy, despite having a healthy lifestyle.
A few months passed and I was diagnosed with Thyroid disfunction.
I was put on medication, which causes rapid weight gain, in a few months I had gained 3.5 stone, most of it fat, I did not resemble a Personal Trainer, I had recently got engaged and given the affectionate nick name of "tubby hubby" the old self esteem took a bit of a battering.
When this was stabilised I looked healthier, but resigned myself to the fact I would not be as in shape as before.
Fitness and Nutrition science has remained constant, until the only time when any findings brought about information different than before, I remember it was a seminar I attended that had come hot off the press from top leading experts.
Instead of low fat, lower calorie for weight loss, it was all about blood sugar stabilisation. Eat more natural, consume less high energy foods to be leaner, for me this aligned with all the other health and fitness science I had learned and just slotted in to place. I applied it and realised I was back in total control of what shape I wanted to be in.

To be honest, yes I'm a slim build naturally, so at worst I was probably as heavy as I could be, dare I say it, being overweight was a novelty at first.
But I quickly realised it does affect you.
But I only got an insight, I realise most people I speak to have it far, far worse.
But it doesn't have to be that way, once you choose to adopt the right habits, it is under your power to take it as far as you want to, it may not be easy, but what do they say about anything worth having?

Monday, 6 July 2015

When is motivation at its highest? (apart from new year).

After the weekend I have noticed is when peoples motivation for weight loss is at it's highest.
Gyms are at their busiest the first day after the weekend.
I am not sure how bad their lifestyles are at the week end, but everyone has their focused face on after the week end!
To be honest I get it, I enjoy nothing more on at least one day to get away from the healthy lifestyle, to take a break.
The only reason it works for me is that my good days consistently out number my bad, that's it!
I know I'm a personal trainer, but I'm not all that crazy about exercise!
What I do like is the healthy feeling it gives me and being in quite good shape.
Today is the day people exercise post week end, motivation is at a high point for the week and what I want to go through is the best modalities of exercise for weight loss.
The answer is the one that gives you the biggest after burn after you have finished or EPOC (Excess post exercise oxygen consumption). (I sound like I just swallowed a text book!).
Nutrition is number one for weight loss, but 2nd is Strength Training, anything that stimulates muscle and big exercises, could be traditional like using Dumbbells, or could be body weight like Squats and Press ups, but it could take Metabolism up to 48 hours to come back down after you finish! Big exercises (lots of muscle groups at once) performed in a circuit is the most effective. 

3rd is Cardio interval training, periods of work and recovery, any method. I like using one minute steady and 30 seconds fast, everyone I help and train doesn't mind working hard for 30 seconds at a time!
Then repeat, dosen't have to be long.
The metabolism takes about 6-8 hours to come back down after.
Next is steady state or same speed cardio, jogging or anything where the intensity stays the same through out.
Metabolism comes back down after about 1-2 hours, regardless of duration.

The best option? Do strength training type exercises, followed by Interval Cardio!

The worst option is inactivity! I don't know anyone trying to get any result, that achieved it through inactivity!
I said it before most types of exercise are not that interesting or just uncomfortable, being sweaty or cold if it's outside, or wet. When you are forming a habit, that's the hard part, keep going though until it all becomes second nature!
The question is are the results worth it? Are all the benefits you are going to experience personal to you worth having?

Friday, 3 July 2015

Straight from the Personal Trainer...

In the nearly 20 years I have been in the industry, new lifestyle methods have come along, new exercise modalities, new science, new thinking when it comes to weight loss...

However one that remains the same is that 70-80% of your weight loss results comes from your NUTRITION PLAN!

It is near on impossible to out exercise a bad nutrition plan.
I taught Spin Classes for ages, people would come up to me at the end of a class and exclaim "I burnt 700 calories in your class, that must mean I can pretty much eat what I want?"
I commended the partcipants on this feat, but had to point out that a pound of body fat or (.454 kgs) contains 3,500 calories and I suggested the best idea if weight loss is the goal to attend one of my nutrition seminars!
As I Personal Trainer I wish this wasn't the case, as I directly effect people's exercise routines and only advise and hold them accountable on their Nutrition, so I have nothing to gain from telling them their Nutrition is key, other than helping them get results!

The Nutrition information out there can be miss leading, different plans, as a whole we focus too much on low fat/ low calorie, but that's for another post...

Monday, 29 June 2015

Defining Goals and Increasing your Motivation to achieve them!

When I initially ask someone about their Health and Fitness goals, the answer will be "lose some weight" they may even know how much they want to lose.
However goals need to inspire us in order for us to take real action, sometimes we are unsure where to begin.

Well keep reading for some help!

When it comes to your goals, most of you have some idea of what to do in order to reach your goals.
The challenging bit is actually doing it!
This is a mind set thing I believe.
However in order to achieve something we have really got to believe it can happen, not that we have to accept the way we are.
I want you to give the next two questions marks out of 10, one will enable you to see why what you are trying to achieve is important. The second is relative to what you need to do.
First out of 10, (10 being the highest) at this current point in time, how important is your Weight Loss or exercise and health goal?
The question is why did you score the question with that number? Why not a lower number, for what reasons?
Next in relation to achieving your goal in a normal timeframe out of 10 (10 being the highest) how confident are you feeling that you are going to have no problem achieving that goal in a realistic time frame applying the right habits, being disciplined and being consistent with your exercise?
With the score you just gave that question, what would it take to improve that score?
This is what you need to do.
If you answered "get some results to motivate me to do more" then you have to look at what you are doing now? Will your current habits take you there? If yes, keep doing them, if not, you probably know what's needed...

Saturday, 27 June 2015


Hello! My name is Ed Stride, I have been working in the health and fitness industry for 18 years, back when Personal Trainers were just for the rich and famous:).
I specialise in weight loss and functional fitness, so anyone who wants to lose weight and or that has a sedentary job (office or lots of driving) or a post pregnancy mother for example.

I aim to provide lots of information, to cut through the fads and science and try and entertain as I go.
I hope the information is of use to you and resonates with you, maybe even motivates you a bit!
If you are someone who finds it a challenge to lose weight and you want to do it by adopting a healthy long term lifestyle and improving your self esteem, your health and overall just make you feel happier and look in the shape you desire!
If you want to lose weight, get leaner and need additional help easing posture problems, like a stiff back or lack of mobility with the right type of exercise and exercises then this is what I hope to provide in droves!

If you like near Ringwood, Hampshire, UK and want to try a free goal setting and Personal Training Session, let me know.
If you have the motivation to exercise yourself and would like some guidance, motivation and accountability in the form of an online coach, to support you with Nutrition and Exercise routines to get results let me know!
Enjoy and put the information to good use, that's why I'm doing it!